Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's up to us: what will we do about bullying?

Today's post was written by my 16 year old daughter. Please read it, I think she has something important to say. xoxo T.

Tyler Clementi.

Asher Brown.

Seth Walsh.

Justin Aaberg.

Raymond Chase.

William (Billy) Lucas.

You might not have heard these names. These are all boys who committed suicide in the last few months after being bullied due to their sexual orientation. Who knows what they felt? Alone, ostracized? Like life wasn't worth living. Like they didn't matter? Their acts of desperation could have gone unnoticed. Thing is, we saw. The internet saw. First one, then another, then hundreds, then thousands of people took a stand. In their own way, everyone said that these boys…and so many like them…matter.

Then, the internet spoke. (Well, it didn't really. It's inanimate. Go with me here, I'm making a point.)

It started with an idea.

Social media spread the idea to quite literally thousands of people.

The idea was simple: wear purple (the color of spirit on the LGBTQ flag) on October 20, 2010 in memory of those boys, and for all the other kids out there who may feel the same way.

So today, I wore purple. To my surprise, there were other kids in my (conservative Christian) class who wore purple. Not to mention the thousands of people all around the world. Teachers, parents, talk show hosts. We took a stand against bullying, against the idea that what happened to these boys was okay.

Bullying is common now. Before, insults were thrown in front of a class, maybe twenty people. Now, cyber bullying is the norm. Hateful anonymous comments, bringing down the person in front of everyone on the internet...whole schools. But kids will be kids, right? They need to suck it up. Learn to ignore it. A common answer to the problem, and not a solution.

But you know what?

I think it's going to be my generation that changes it. We know social media. Some of us communicate mostly through email, facebook and texting. We get how to make a difference. And we do. My generation will be the one that steps up and says it isn't okay.

It isn't okay to make fun of someone. To discriminate based on age, or race, or sexual orientation or disability or intelligence or anything else.

It isn't okay to have an Us vs. Them mentality.

It isn't okay to talk about how loving God is and then hate anyone who is different.

It isn't okay.

And when that happens, when we step up…it will change.

In 1983, D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) was founded. It has changed lives. Imagine what it could be like if there was a similar approach to bullying. In one generation, D.A.R.E made drugs uncool. Nearly every school age kid knows what the red ribbon means. If something similar could be accomplished for bullying...imagine what could happen.

Hate is learned and we need to lead by example. The things we learn in kindergarten can affect the rest of our lives. If we start from the bottom and work up, we can change hearts. If we could show from the beginning that bullying isn't okay...just imagine it.

If we change the mindset behind bullying, imagine how drastically different our world might be.

It's going to start with us.

Now, don't just imagine it. Let's make it a reality.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nobody here but us mad scientists

Not a lot going on around here. Mostly just raising the next generation of world-changers. Don't believe me?

the fine print says .. "Maybe... but do you really want to find out?" and "Now go away so I can finish and plot to take over the world in peace."

at least she uses first!

and here is what most pictures look like these days... teenage incognito. When she is accepting the Nobel Prize I will remember this. Or maybe when she is outted for being some superhero's nemesis.... either way. T. who figures homeschooling is working

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

My dog is a slut

Surprise: Poppy, my sweet almost-9 month old puppy, went into heat last week. After being told constantly that we were looking at a late heat because giant breed dogs come into season later, usually between 12-18 months. And ten days shy of 9 months, we were faced with a 100 lb. dog who had all the signs of being a flamboyant slut. When a dog goes into season, they menstruate. They mostly keep themselves clean, but there is a stray drip here and there. To combat that, some people use diapers. Only I cannot find diapers to fit Poppy! They just don't carry them anywhere that are big enough. The manufacturer makes an XXL, but as far as I can tell NO ONE anywhere carries them. (I also would NOT suggest searching for "XL diapers on line. Just trust me. Ok? Really. Just. Don't.) So, as a stop-gap measure, we put her in mens' underwear, just to put her in something. All I can say is thank god we have wood floors! The first few days, she had to go out a lot more, and peed all over the lawn. I cannot walk her, because she is sending "come hither" scents to the male dogs and we don't want any following her home. Leaving little "bread crumbs" for them to follow, we don't want any of the boys serenading our Juilet outside the bedroom window at four in the morning.

When I do take her out, She sashays around and waves her tail to let the boys know she is available. So far, there haven't been any dogs to answer her call, which is good. Her tail shake brings all the boys to the yard... so we are vigilant. In addition to not being able to walk the block, she also cannot go to the dog park. She is feeling a bit cooped up, as am I. We head to the dog park at least three times a week. Once this passes, I will be sure to make that spay appointment. Because trust me when I tell you that dealing with a large dog in heat, with the pacing, the leaking, the constant need to pee and the skittishness is NOT FUN. Still, it is better to spay a giant breed dog after her first heat, due to lower risk of bone cancer. So I will cheerfully deal with all of the annoyances if the result is a healthier pup who will be with us longer.

Makes it all worth it. As long as I can have a drink after the kids go to bed, that is. Tina, who figures life is a joke

Monday, October 04, 2010

September is over, why didn't anyone wake me up?

I pretty much hibernated for the last month after I came home from New York. With the migraines, school starting and the planning associated with that little venture, we had some other unexpected events to deal with as well. Which, of course, I will blog as I get back into the swing of things. And I? Just bugged out. I needed to take a break, to recuperate from life, and come back to blogging renewed. So, if you will still have me, I am back. So buy me a drink, pass me the mike, cause Radio Tee is back on the air. Ok, not really. I am just blogging again. But you can still buy me a drink. I missed you. You look great in that. Have you lost weight? What? Do I want to go somewhere? Let's take it slow, have some conversation, and then see where that leads. Tina
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